Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Between Dissolution and Blood: How Administrative Lines and Categories Shape Secessionist Outcomes

Abstract
Abstract

Common wisdom and current scholarship hold that governments need to stand firm in the face of secessionist demands, since permitting the secession of one region can set a precedent for others. For this reason governments will often choose blood rather than risk dissolution. I argue that administrative organization provides states with a third option. Those regions that represent a unique administrative type stand a much better chance of seceding peacefully. Moreover, large articulated states sometimes downsize by administrative category, which helps explain why governments will release one set of units without contest while preventing another set from doing the same. Finally, secessionist movements that do not cohere with any administrative region are the least likely to be granted independence. In sum, the administrative architecture of states provides governments with a means to discriminate between secessionist demands. I test this theory in a large-N study using original data on secessionist movements and administrative units between 1816 and 2011.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Edward Aspinall . 2007. The Construction of Grievance: Natural Resources and Identity in a Separatist Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution 51 (6):571–85.

Viva O. Bartkus 1999. The Dynamic of Secession. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Studies.

Mark R. Beissinger 2002. Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Valerie Bunce . 1999. Subversive Institutions: The Design and the Destruction of Socialism and the State. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kathleen G. Cunningham 2013. Understanding Strategic Choice: The Determinants of Civil War and Nonviolent Campaign in Self-Determination Disputes. Journal of Peace Research 50 (3):291304.

Mikulas Fabry . 2010. Recognizing States: International Society and the Establishment of New States Since 1776. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Tanisha M. Fazal , and Ryan D. Griffiths . 2014. Membership Has Its Privileges: The Changing Benefits of Statehood. International Studies Review 16 (1):79106.

Michael Hechter . 1992. The Dynamics of Secession. Acta Sociologica 35 (2):267–83.

Erin K. Jenne , Stephen M. Saideman , and Will Lowe . 2007. Separatism as a Bargaining Posture: The Role of Leverage in Minority Radicalization. Journal of Peace Research 44 (5):539–58.

Paul Milgrom , and John Roberts . 1982. Predation, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence. Journal of Economic Theory 27 (2):280312.

Brendan O'Leary , Ian S. Lustick , and Thomas Callaghy , eds. 2001. Right-Sizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Öyvind Österud . 1997. The Narrow Gate: Entry to the Club of Sovereign States. Review of International Studies 23 (2):167–84.

Stephen M. Saideman 2001. The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press.

Stephen M. Saideman 2002. Discrimination in International Relations: Analyzing External Support for Ethnic Groups. Journal of Peace Research 39 (1):2750.

Jason C. Sharman 2013. International Hierarchies and Contemporary Imperial Governance: A Tale of Three Kingdoms. European Journal of International Relations 19 (2):189207.

Barbara F. Walter 2006a. Information, Uncertainty, and the Decision to Secede. International Organization 60 (1):105–35.

Barbara F. Walter 2009. Reputation and Civil War: Why Separatist Conflicts Are So Violent. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 125 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 303 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.